Friday, 7 September 2012

A Guid Scottish Makeover

Alex Salmond changed some faces round the Cabinet table this week and within 48 hours George Osborne paid a brief visit to Scotland to peddle another scaremongering message - taxes would rise in an independent Scotland.  No mathematical detail was given but, as per No 10 and No 11 policy, the hope was the soundbite would be enough to make Scots shake in their shoes.

Back to the changes in the government.  The Burd gave her opinion and although I agree with most of her remarks, I think the main purpose for the key move of Nicola Sturgeon from Health to Infrastructure and Capital Spending will not only give her space to handle the referendum, but it will give her  experience in economic development - a skill necessary for all those aiming for leadership.

Nicola Sturgeon is Alex Salmond's heir apparent and whether or not the answer is Yes to the referendum, I believe Alex Salmond will not stay around too long as party leader. He looks tired more often than not and he has lost a bit of 'punch'.  That's understandable when he has held the highest party office for so long and has seen numerous other party leaders come and go.

Ms Sturgeon has been competent with the Health brief and doubts about Alex Neil's ability to be as effective should be ignored.  Alex Neil is a canny operator and will deliver although his style differs greatly from that of the Deputy First Minister.

My own MSP has kept his portfolio.  John Swinney has been the single key to the SNP's success in government and since the 2007 election his performance has been impeccable.  The SNP may not win the referendum but they would certainly lose it if John Swinney hadn't shown a quiet determination to care for Scotland's allocated budget so wisely.

The government's makeover has been well received by most.  It will possibly be Alex Salmond's last reshuffle and I wish it every success.


John Wood said...

That is nicely upbeat; we moved up 11 yrs ago because of indep plans and I would like to see it happen 'for I die! NS has always impressed. I cannot see too much risk from negotiations with Osborne anyway as his Govt surely will not survive past the next election.

pa_broon74 said...

Osbourne on TV last night was really very poor indeed, using the CBI as a paltform is also ill-advised, people must know what the 'B' stands for in the name?

I've said elsewhere, he avoided answering many question by accusing Salmond and others of, avoiding answering questions.

I think Swinney is one of those great quiet men, he had a go at leadership which wasn't for him but his contribution is as important as anything AS or NS brings to the table.

Osbourne should take note, he's not even playing the same game as Swinney never mind being in the same league.

JRB said...

Am afraid I would have to voice a different interpretation of events …

What a cannie conniving character Mr Salmond has proven himself to be.

In a stroke of Machiavellian genius he has sidelined his young prodigy Ms Sturgeon, who one day soon would surely have been a viable challenger for his throne.
He has done for her by handing her the ultimate poison chalice.

If she succeeds in her new post to oversee the independence referendum then Alex can rightly claim the glory that he choose wisely in appointing his deputy to the task.

Should she fail, then he can distance himself and claim that despite her attributes she, sadly, was not up to handling a major issues of state, and that consequently such issues are only safe when left in his capable hands.

Her future is now such that she is ‘damned if she does’ and ‘damned if she doesn’t’.

But regardless of the outcome upon the fair lady, it will be ‘win – win’ for Alex, who no doubt will remain safely in power for many a long year yet.
(Macbeth would be proud of him)

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Now,now JRB - the very nature of politics is machiavellian, which is why it fails in so many ways and the reason for many of our apathies towards it.

But as far as this issue is concerned I think if NS hadn't been up for it AS wouldn't have got it.

pa_broon74 said...

I think you're making the mistake of judging holyrood MSP's by Westminster MP's standards.

I don't think the SNP Holyrood group have had enough time to get as far down that particular road as those down south.

I also think it belies a major difference in management, the SNP isn't managed from Westminster, the others are and that makes a big difference.

Salmond is as prone to a spot of political gamesmanship as any of the others, but to turn this into an AS/NS/SNP bashing match is a stretch.

Its just a reshuffle.

subrosa said...

Ah, but don't forget any Westminster government will be unionist John.

subrosa said...

Wasn't he dreadful pa_broon?

I don't think the SNP would have been re-elected without John Swinney's input in government.

subrosa said...

Interesting interpretation JRB and I can accept it.

I've heard on the grapevine that all isn't well between NS and JS. We'll have to see what happens.

If she messes up I'm sure there are plenty awaiting in the wings to take her place. The SNP aren't short of career politicians.

subrosa said...

I haven't judged MSPs by Westminster MPs' standards pa_broon.

The post isn't a bashing match at all, just my personal view of Alex Salmond's recent actions.

Michele said...

"That's understandable when he has held the highest party office for so long and has seen numerous other party leaders come and go."

For a moment there I thought we were talking about the Queen!!!

pa_broon74 said...


I was referring to JRB's comment, not your own.

I think this goes on quite often by the press and unfortunately voters treat MSP's the same as MP's.

MSP's are not perfect (some of their expenses are definitely questionable) but it takes time to become as debauched and corrupt as those sitting in Westminster Palace.

subrosa said...

Are the Windsors a political party Michelle? Mind you the answer is possibly yes. :)

subrosa said...

Oops sorry pa_broon.

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